Via Ken White;
Ken White of Popehat law blog is one of the staunchest defenders of first amendment rights in the blogosphere. It doesn’t matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, he will defend your right to free speech.
Evidently, an artist who draws a comic called “Darchylde”, about a young woman with enormous breasts, has taken offense because another blog took umbrage with the way he portrays women in his art work. He has started some legal mumbo jumbo blustering which as White points out, is just wrong on so many levels:
Rain, Rain, falling down
Grey sky shadows, and my sad heart
. . . and so on.
Now, I am not personally offended by improbably-breasted women in comics. I recognize them for what they are: a cultural signal, like golf pants or McDonalds’ Golden Arches. Their presence on a book or comic cover signifies that you will encounter nothing unfamiliar or unsettling therein. Anatomically incorrect breasts are the dogs-playing-poker of fantasy art.
Not everybody shares my view. For instance, the proprietors of Escher Girls critique the way that women are depicted in pop culture, including comics. They tend to criticize art like this example of Darkchylde:
I appreciate the existence of this dispute. How can you not like a blog with the tag “boobs don’t work that way”? But even if you disagree with the criticism of pop culture tropes, you probably recognize the critics’ right to offer it.
Apparently Randy Queen doesn’t.
First Queen filed DMCA takedown demands with Tumbler seeking the removal of examples of his art from their critical posts. This, to start, was bogus, censorious, and petty. Escher Girls’ posts are a classic example of Fair Use. “The fair use of a copyrighted work . . . for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching . . . scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” Showing a few examples of art from an artist in order to criticize in the art in a blog post is clear fair use.
But Randy Queen wasn’t done. When Escher Girls’ proprietor “Ami Angelwings” posted about Queens’ DMCA takedown notice, Queen responded with bluster and threats, as Mike Masnick reports:
Much more at the link above.
What it boils down to is, if we don’t slam the hammer down on these internet bullies, we’ll just get more of the same. I’m not against law suits as long as they are legitimate.
This Randy Queen has probably never heard of the “Streisand Effect”, but he is going to learn a valuable lesson soon.
Ken has asked to spread this story far and wide. You wouldn’t want artist Randy Queen to miss the ramifications of the “Streisand Effect” now, would we?.